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tv   Comunidad del Valle  NBC  September 6, 2015 9:30am-10:01am PDT

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hello and welcome to "comunidad del valle." i'm damian trujillo, and today, a unique way of helping veterans, plus some more help at cet on your "comunidad del valle." male announcer: nbc bay area presents "comunidad del valle" with damian trujillo. damian: we begin today with using the internet in helping your children succeed in school. with me here is the founder of great schools, bill jackson. he's here to tell us about the unique programs that are available to parents. welcome to the show. bill jackson: thank you, damian. damian: well, tell us, first of all, about great schools. tell us about your organization. bill: so, great schools, we're a nonprofit organization with a goal of helping parents get a great education for their kids. and we're best known for the school guide, which features profiles of all the schools you could send your child to. so, that's job one often is to find which school
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to send your kid to with charter schools, with district schools that offer choice. then we have a bunch of other resources that help you understand particularly the new standards that have come into education in california, and the test results. damian: for those who may not have used your site as a resource, what are we missing out on? bill: well, you know, there is always an opportunity to choose--and i shouldn't say always, but almost always in the san francisco bay area, if you don't like your child's school, or if you think that school down the street won't serve your child well, there's probably another school that you could choose. so, come to the site, put in your address, learn about what those other school options are, and make the best choice for your child. damian: you mentioned in your opening remarks about it's giving parents the tools. that's key, i think, the parental involvement. talk about that key aspect of a child's education. bill: yeah, so you know, kids, obviously they learn a lot from their teachers, but parents do so much too.
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kids pick up aspects of the value of education. or you know, if the parent doesn't have english as their first language, there's great research that shows that even if you go to school and you look that teacher in the eye and you say the few words that you can, you're communicating to your child's teacher that you care and you're invested, and you're watching them too. and that kind of partnership between teacher and parent and child is what makes education successful. damian: makes a difference. so, some test scores are coming out. what should we be looking out for? bill: so, these new tests are different than the former california tests. and they do a better job of testing children's conceptual understanding. so, a little bit less of the kind of memorization of the facts and a little bit more about, "what do you really understand about math or about what you're reading?" so, to some degree, we should expect a little lower test scores, at least in some places we'll see that. damian: is that because it's a new test or because it's a different, more difficult test?
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bill: i think it's both. it's new, and students and teachers are less familiar, but it's also harder. so, lower test scores doesn't mean that the schools are failing or the kid is not learning. what it actually means is that the bar has been raised and it's the right bar because we want kids, when they leave school, to be able to have a lot of opportunity. and if we're tracking how well are they really understanding things, not just kind of surface level, but more deeply, then we're all doing ourselves a better service. damian: that's why i chose journalism, because math just wasn't there. the memorization was there. now, you have something called the great kids state test guide for parents. tell us about that. bill: just launched. the great kids state test guide for parents in california helps a parent, helps us to understand what our kids were tested on and how we can help. that's really the parent's first question always is, "well, how can i help?" and the guide looks at the test results. you should best use with your test results in hand. and it's available english and spanish both.
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and you go into it and you look, hey, my kid well on, say, reading, but not so well on writing. or did well on math-- in one area of math, but not so well in another. and you look at that and you can get advice about, like, what are some activities that i can sprinkle into my everyday life that will help my child gain those skills? and that's really what we're about is helping parents to participate in solving the problem. damian: is there anything there that would help a child this coming year before they take that exam to kind of maybe take a sample exam so they can get an idea of what awaits them? bill: yeah, there are a lot of sample problems in this tool. and you'll see, you know, if you look at your--in september, families will be getting their score reports for the last year. so, if your child's, say, in fifth grade right now, you're getting it for the fourth grade year. so, come into the tool and use it for last year actually is where you first go to, and to learn how to interpret the test report that you got.
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but you go to this year and then you'll get, say, fifth grade, and you'll get a lot of sample problems, and you'll understand much more deeply after you play around a little bit what's happening in fifth grade. damian: what a valuable tool. that's why, you know, it's a good tool to keep in your toolbox. it's called great schools. if you'd like more information, there is the web address for more information. any final thoughts before i let you go, mr. jackson? bill: well, just as parents, remember that you are so important in your child's education. little questions you can ask your kids about what they're learning, ways you can communicate your engagement to your child's teacher and help partner to solve problems makes a huge difference. damian: stay engaged. bill: yeah. damian: all right, thank you so much. all right, appreciate it. up next here on "comunidad del valle," the center for employment training. stay with us.
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have your high school diploma or your ged. with me from the center for employment training are leticia dominguez and elsa garcia de leon, who are here to tell us about a new--it's called the ability to benefit test. tell us about that. what's new here?
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leticia dominguez: so, what's new is that the center for employment training a couple of years back had this test, which was the ability to benefit test. and it was eliminated. and it wasn't eliminated just for cet, but it was across the country, where students were not able to take this very specific test in order for them to apply for federal financial aid. so, they have to have a high school diploma or ged in order for them to apply for financial aid for a period of time after that was eliminated. so now, after working hard and fighting for this very specific test, our ceo, hermelinda sapien, she did her due diligence to make sure that we got this test back, along with other leaders in the community making sure that this news has to go out that not everyone has a high school diploma and ged.
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and we understand that. we know that people have to work hard for different reasons that they don't have it. and so, because we knew that this was necessary in order for someone to be able to succeed in the workforce and have the opportunity to pursue a trade, a career, in the meantime they're also working on their ged. and so, we needed to make that be heard and we needed to make that possible. and so, we're excited to know that it's now back. damian: that's great. we're looking at video of some of your students there. how big of a help or how big of a difference, elsa, has this made for your students at cet? elsa garcia de leon: [speaking spanish]
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[speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] leticia: so, they needed to wait. damian: this was a make or break for some students? leticia: it was, i mean, you had students that had heard that their parent or a friend or someone had come through our program at one time, and successfully graduated from a medical assistant program or from a culinary program. and it was simply because they had the opportunity
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to pass this ability to benefit test. and when they came in and, knowing that it didn't exist and it wasn't there, you know, we pushed them to work on getting your ged. you know, we did that, but it's not as easy for very specific reasons in some households, where they can't stop to just take their ged, meanwhile they're working. there's a need to be able to have the opportunity to work on their careers while they're working on their ged, which seems more realistic in so many people's eyes. but so, that's the reason why it was such huge news or us that, yes, we got it back. damian: and you mention careers. we saw some great video.
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there was electricians and whatnot. so, you can become what after attending classes there at cet? leticia: at cet, we have everything from culinary arts, medical assistants, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. we have green building construction. we have early childhood teacher assistant. it's a variety of careers that are very specific. and the reason why we specifically focus in on those fields is because we too also assist them with job placement assistance. it's a part of the package at cet. it's a part of the benefits. and ultimately, our goal is getting people back out into the workforce, whether it's your first time or whether it's a new career path should something have happened in your previous workforce and you need something that's very career focused. yeah, that's what we do. damian: i know you all were very instrumental during the big recession, helping out those who have lost their jobs and retraining them. there is their web address for more information.
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find out more about this new exam that you can now take while still studying for your ged. thank you so much for what you're doing in this community. leticia: thank you, damian. damian: thank you. and up next here on "comunidad del valle," a unique way of helping our veterans. stay with us.
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buggsy malone is a veteran himself. he's with us here on "comunidad del valle." welcome to the show. buggsy malone: thank you, damian. damian: welcome home and thank you for your service. well, tell us about your service. tell us where you served. buggsy: where i served as a combat disabled veteran, i served in desert shield/desert storm. i did 13 years mostly in the marine corps, but i also went into the us army first because i wanted to jump out of an airplane. damian: perfectly fine airplanes, right? buggsy: perfectly fine. damian: and this is--you sent us some pictures of yourself and some of the artwork. let's talk about why you're doing this artwork and what it's called. buggsy: the artwork actually started out by--help veterans heal is designed to be a voice for veterans.
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to me, my voice is art. and a lot of people don't have a voice. without this artistic voice of mine, i know i would become 1 of the 22 who commit suicide daily as far as veterans in the numbers. without a doubt, i would be 1 of the 22. the voice is extremely important to me. it's also this voice i feel that i can connect with the community too because it's still a cause. i know it's going to become an organization, but it's still a cause. and myself and some of the people are going to get together and organize through art. we're going to hold art shows. and all of these venues, of course, along the way promoting what people need to know about veterans. damian: and you made relationships with the san jose arts commission, so i mean, you're tapping into the right resources. buggsy: you know, i can't believe it's actually been--it's hard for me--it's been hard for me to come out as a veteran, as
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an individual who suffers with ptsd in any matter. but since i had a hard show at a place called oak stop in oakland, and it was called "the art of my pain," 15 years later, 15 years since i've been out of the marine corps. but don harris, who works at oakland school for the arts, who was just recently appointed the head chair of the california arts council, came by and has started kicking down some doors for me. i say that 'cause i'm not quite sure what it would take to have the art commissioner, ron muriera, here in san jose get involved. conway jones, the head of the veteran affairs in alameda county. keith jeffreys, who is united states artists alliance out of los angeles. it's an amazing thing to feel the support as an artist and as a veteran. damian: how bad has it been for you
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emotionally and personally? buggsy: i can easily say from the time i wake up to the time i go to bed, and while i'm asleep, i deal with my experiences. it's very--it's very sad to say at the same time what i call my ground zero, my home life, knows one side of me that a lot of people don't see. and i'm sure a lot of people could feel a certain way about me just knowing that. and i can only say to them it's only through art that i'm going to maintain, that i'm going to survive, that i'm going to use it as a force, as a voice for other people who have yet to express themselves, and the importance in that, that my home life will only become better and i can continue to be a part of society. damian: what would you tell those veterans who might not be at the point where you are, where you've found kind of an
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avenue, if you will, to help deal with your pain? there's some veterans who are still keeping it inside. what would you tell those veterans? buggsy: find a voice. find a voice. without it, i easily understand how easy it is to withdraw and stay depressed, or withdraw from society in general. i know why there's homelessness. you know, i know why there's drug abuse. the support system that's there, so to speak--because what's in place doesn't necessarily work for me. but so many of veterans don't even know what exists. you know, so along the lines of me creating this organization, it has to--that type of consideration of the individuals who don't even know how to get to another place to get help, to
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seek help, where to go get it, that has to be bridged somehow. and i know that i'm going to play a part and the organization is going to play a part in that, and using art along the way. damian: do you have a theme to your art? is it all about the pain, or is it not even related to what your experience is? buggsy: it's both. i would say a lot of it--my art is my one love, i've learned. i have a piece called "conscious love." it has a heart and an eye on it. and it's made me aware of what that you can concentrate on, my one love, my art creation, of what beneficial efforts of things can come out of that, the positive that can come out of that. damian: yeah, is there a website that people can log onto and go see what your work is? buggsy: yeah, easily, and will lead you to everything. help veterans heal is still in its process.
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i look forward to people coming on board and helping me get this to where it needs to., b-u-g-g-s-y. damian: there's two g's. buggsy: two g's, two g's, people. damian: i don't know if--there he is with log on and what's the other site that you mentioned? buggsy: damian: there it is and log on, and find out maybe if you're a veteran in need of help, or you know that you yourself or someone can help veterans, there it is. thank you so much for serving. all right, good luck, buggsy. and up next here on "comunidad del valle," we revisit suenatron. stay with us. my name is phil zietlow, and i've been an engineer on the cheerios team for 51 years. about five years ago, i found out that if my daughter-in-law, joyce, eats anything with gluten in it she feels pretty darn terrible. so my team and i came up with a way to remove the grains that contain gluten, from the naturally gluten free oats that cheerios are made of. so now joyce and i can have cheerios together anytime we want.
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and if you love someone with celiac, or gluten sensitivity, you can too. in your comunidad on que pasa. [music] [music] [music]
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[music] [music] [music] damian: our saludos to those celebrating a special day. felicidades. [music] damian: and here's our address for next week's saludos. you can follow me on twitter. my handle is @newsdamian. you can watch us on telemundo channel 48 every sunday-- or every saturday i should say, at 5:30 p.m. also, pick up a copy of el observador newspaper and support your bilingual weeklies all across the bay area. we thank you once again for sharing a part of your sunday with us. we leave you now once again with the revisit to the boys of suenatron. buenos días.
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[music] [music] damian: they're taking the country by storm, raul y mexia and suenatron. this is their latest release here called "caramelo." they're our guest here on "comunidad del valle." they're back by popular demand. welcome back to the show, guys. let's talk about the whole clique here. tell us, first of all--tell us the guys for us, if you will. raul hernandez: well yeah, for those of you guys who don't know, well, i'm raul. mexia hernandez: mexia hernandez. abraham alvarado because they can't hear you. we got eduardo montelongo, he plays bass. giovanni hernandez: gio hernandez. i play the drums. mateo gonzalez: and i'm mat gonzalez. i play guitar and i produce. damian: son primos or how are you guys all related, or friends, or how does that work? raul: yeah, well, of course we're brothers, right? mexia: we brought our little brother this time.
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we got our cousin over here as well, our cousin abraham, who plays percussions with us. and then two friends that we've been playing with since--for a very long here in the san jose local scene. damian: you guys are closer than family. you guys are together, you travel together, you're all over the country. i mean, how do you guys handle that? mexia: yeah, no, well, you know, fortunately right now or thank god we're traveling all over the country and doing what we love, taking it one step at a time, you know? just trying not to pull each other's hair out. no, but it's fun. damian: we're going to hear their latest hit, "caramelo," at the end of the show, so make sure you're tuned in for that. but i mean, you guys play everywhere. you're going to play tonight over at great america? raul: we'll be at great america tonight. thankfully, this is our--one of our first shows here in our--where we're from, from san jose. you know, for us, it's really special to come back here and show what we have. and we've been all over, all over the east coast, all over the south pretty much, and now we're making our way over to california. we'll be in this area for the next couple months working. thankfully, like i said, we've come a long way from "todos somos arizona" to where we're at now, and we're just happy to have work.
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damian: and you guys just came from mexico, no? mexia: yeah, we did. we were promoting our first single, "sencillamente," out there. "sencillamente" was actually on the number one charts over in mexico, central america, south america, and making its way here to the states. and now with our second single, "caramelo," doing the same thing, so we're kind of riding the wave. you know, como se dice, you know? we're very much grateful, very much appreciative of what's happening with us right now and the band. i think we've found kind of that perfect formula here, you know, with our producer mat. you know, we kind of find that--found that sound that we were looking for for so long. damian: and what is that sound, mat? what's the genre that, if i go to pandora, what's the genre i'm going to find you guys under? mateo: i mean, you can look up regional mexican or pop. you know, i mean, that's it, that's what we're putting it under. but we're calling it popteño. yeah, it's a mix between, you know, the traditional and modern style. damian: i mean, not just anybody can do that mezcla. you got to have a creative mind. mateo: it was--you know, it was--it took a little bit of time to do, you know. but with these guys, you know, they're talented. and in the studio, we really buckled down and just worked hard, and it was a good--at the end of the day, it was a good
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product that came out, you know, so. it was very organic. you know, it was cool the way it came out. damian: and did you not have a choice? did they say, "you're coming on board whether you like it or not? giovanni: well, i mean, i kind of knew that i was going to be involved with them in this type of project. and sure enough, it happened and i'm very excited to work with them. it's not every day you can work with your brothers, you know? so yeah, no, this project right now that we have is going very well. damian: do you try--i mean, it's a different genre. do you try to separate yourself from what your father with "los tigres del norte" have accomplished? or are you guys--i mean, i see the picture. you guys are still kind of feeding off and trying to gain some of his genius, if you will, in your music. tell us about that. raul: yeah, well, i think for anybody, you know, the first thing--it's like that you have to find that medium. either way if we would have done norteño music, you would have had people, "oh, they're just trying to copy their dad." you know, you do something different, it's like, "why didn't they do what their dad does?" so for us, we kind of see, you know, where both sides come from. and that's what the point was coming up
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with this sound called popteño. so, it was kind of like a happy medium between what people expected of us and what we wanted from ourselves also. us being born here in the united states, our story is different from our dad's. so you know, a lot of people understand that now. and i think now, you know, from what we've learned and from what we've experienced over these past 10 years to the point where we got now is we realize that people now are just like us. the people who are growing up, they live like us, they were born here, they speak spanish, they speak english, and it's a sound for them. and i think now when we go to mexico, we didn't expect that type of--how do you say-- receive us with that much of open arms, you know? because you always hear-- you see the selena story, you go to mexico and, you know, they criticize you because you're spanish. you know, but for us, you know, we go there and they were arms wide open. and it was like, wow, you know, our music is doing well over here. and we come here and it's the same. so, i said i think we're in that generation of the youth, where
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now you listen to music on the internet and it could be anything from reggaeton to bachata, and you're listening to rock, rap, alternative. and that's what our style is, you know? and i think, at the end of the day, we found that. like i said, my brother said, we found that perfect formula, and we're going, we're riding this wave right now. damian: because you told me your dad's songs, you talk to anybody, they say-- [speaking spanish] are you going to say that about your songs? mexia: yeah, we've heard people tell us, yeah, because the majority--like mat said, the majority of the concerts we've been playing is in regional pop, regional concerts, you know? we've been playing with bands, with bandas, other norteño groups. and we definitely stand out, you know? even the name suenatron is unique in its own, which is a fusion of two words: suena, suenafuerte, and tron of the electronic part.
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